Without help, the Amargosa vole could be extinct in just five years. The small rodents live in wetlands near Death Valley in California. They were thought to be extinct until they were rediscovered in the 1970s. Now researchers have created a captive breeding program to increase the voles’ numbers. The program isn’t quick or easy. First the researchers check the voles they have taken from the wild for diseases. Then they make sure the voles being bred are not related to each other. The researchers also study the voles so they can strengthen the wild population.
The program could not only save the vole, but it could also help preserve the habitat they live in.